"Bare"... A sinking feeling
by Linda Coffman
This has nothing to
do with sunbathing topless on the "adult" deck.
"Bare" is insurance lingo for an uncovered occurrence. No
one wants their cruise vacation spoiled by a broken arm, heart
attack, or the ultimate indignity -- death. If one of life's
tragedies occurs, are you covered?
insurance program you depend on at home often does not cover you
once you leave the borders of the United States. Medicare assuredly
will not cover you if you are hurt or sick. It is worth noting that
ALL ships of foreign registry are considered to be "outside the
United States" by Medicare; however, this point is not
explained clearly in the Medicare Manual. Without basic coverage,
travelers should be prepared to pay for any care they require,
either by credit card or wire transfer of funds to the provider.
When booking a
cruise, your travel agent should inquire whether you wish to
purchase a special travel insurance policy. If the agent doesn't ask
you, you should ask him. Agents often have a preferred provider who
pays a commission on the sale of policies. This is not a bad thing.
Some independent insurance carriers offer very comprehensive
policies at attractive rates. Nearly all cruise lines offer their
own line of insurance. Compare the coverage and rates to determine
which is best for you.
A variety of hazards can be covered in a travel insurance policy.
One concern for cruisers is being delayed en route to the port of
embarkation and missing the ship. Another major consideration is
lost luggage, or even delayed luggage. These should be covered. You
may miss the first day or two of your cruise, but all will not be
lost. At least financially. A travel policy will insure you can
replace the necessities in your delayed luggage secure in the
knowledge you will be reimbursed for those unexpected expenditures.
Save your receipts for all out-of-pocket expenses to file your claim
and be sure to get an incident report from the airline at fault.
If you've cruised as often as I have, chances are you've seen (or
heard of) a medical evacuation. Next to repatriating mortal remains,
an extreme emergency requiring immediate evacuation while at sea is
probably the most expensive circumstance travelers are not insured
for. You could find yourself liable for tens of thousands of
dollars. Payable without delay.
and gentlemen, this is your Captain. The ship has stopped and we
will be preparing the Lido for an emergency evacuation. The United
States Coast Guard has come alongside and we request your
cooperation during this procedure."
A fellow passenger
suffered a heart attack on the second day of a Caribbean cruise.
After the announcement was made, we noticed an airplane slowly
circling overhead. A Coast Guard ship rendezvoused with our vessel
and divers entered the water. Then a helicopter arrived and hovered
over the Lido while the stricken passenger was loaded into the
basket and lifted on board.
this happened the Lido was cleared of sun worshipers and deck
chairs. In addition, the ship's highly polished teak decks were
sanded for improved traction. The Captain kept the ship's passengers
informed during the procedure. Afterward we were kept abreast of the
patient's progress in her San Juan hospital. The poor woman had
suffered a double whammy. First her luggage was delayed. Her friends
were lending her items from their wardrobes but she was terribly
distressed. In all likelihood, she was probably also uninsured and
her stress made matters worse.
One of the most
impressive aspects of the day was the crew. Not only was the entire
procedure carried off without a hitch, the the decks were actually
re-varnished before an outdoor party and buffet at midnight.
the right policy for you from one of these Travel
can you expect if you get ill on board? Share our "sick
bay" experiences in Cruise